It’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)
Today the book baton is passed to Deb Fitzpatrick.
Deb Fitzpatrick lives and works in Fremantle, WA and she writes novels for adults, young adults and children. Deb’s sixth novel, The Spectacular Spencer Gray, was published in mid 2017.
Last week Jen Storer asked Deb:
“How long do you spend planning a book before you start writing it? Also, do you put people or animals you know into your stories? ”
I’m a pantser, I’m afraid, (that is: I fly by the seat of my pants and make it up as I’m going along, unlike a planner, who, well, plans and is sensible and orderly and grown up). So, I do very little planning for a book before I start writing it. I just launch on in and I love seeing what unfolds.
Teachers are often rather appalled when I admit this to kids, which I do at every opportunity. Kids seem to love that I’m barely more mature than they are. I make up my stories as I’m going along, and if, in the course of the writing, I need to stop and think things through, I just do it then. Of course, this does sometimes mean that I have to go back and rewrite bits of my story, but I’m okay with that. Can I tell you a secret? This must only be read in a barely-heard whisper … I get bored with writing a story that I have planned too closely. Writing to a plan, for me, takes away the magic of discovery that is creative writing. Shhhhh!!! Don’t tell your teachers!
I put versions of my two wonderful children in some of my books, but I always ask their permission before going ahead. Sometimes they don’t want certain things shared, and I respect that. I also get my kids to read a manuscript before I submit it to my publisher — so they can give me feedback, which I use!
And now Deb passes the book baton to the next Friday visitor — Sian Turner. Sian is a WA writer and her second picture book will be published in November 2017. (More about that next week!)
“I love that nature is such a big part of Beyond Our Garden Gate. Is this important in all of your books? Can you talk about your own experience of nature as a child?
Also: do your children help you write your books, or give you ideas?”
Check in every Friday for mini interviews with children’s authors and illustrators. (While you’re waiting you can catch up on all the interviews in the Pass the Book Baton series so far!)